The Amazon Echo wireless speaker and voice command device can now read Kindle books aloud.
Amazon announced that the Echo’s voice assistant ‘Alexa’ is now capable of reading aloud Kindle books eligible for Text-to-Speech (an experimental reading technology that allows supported Amazon devices to read text aloud).
Users can give voice commands for Alexa to pause, go to the next or previous paragraph, or resume listening their book.
According to Amazon, “Alexa reads books purchased from the Kindle Store, borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library or Kindle Unlimited, or shared with you in your Family Library.”
Video of a user’s Amazon Echo reading a Kindle book aloud:
The feature does not deliver the same level of quality as audiobooks on Audible narrated by professional voice actors, as Alexa’s voice sounds quite robotic, but it could prove to be popular among Kindle users who don’t buy audiobooks – especially since the feature is completely free.
To look for eligible books in the Alexa app users have to open the left navigation panel and then select ‘Kindle Books > Books Alexa can read.’
About the Amazon Echo
For those unfamiliar with the Amazon Echo it is a 9.25-inch (23.5 cm) tall cylinder speaker with a seven-piece microphone array.
The device is capable of voice interaction, music playback, creating to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing real time information such as weather and traffic. The Echo can also control several smart devices.
It first became widely available on June 23, 2015.